"It was definitely selfish and undisciplined at the time, obviously, but I can't do anything about it now", Marchand said. The Bruins are happy he won't miss any playoff games.
Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand will face a hearing Thursday morning after he speared Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin on Tuesday night. He's also garnered discussion as a potential Hart Trophy candidate for how important he's been to the Bruins' turnaround.
The suspension will force Marchand to sit out the final two games of the regular season, but it will allow Boston's top goalscorer to return for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Western Conference teams have all clinched so far, making the end of the season rather tiresome on the West coast. It's not an easy schedule, but Tampa Bay has a combined 5-2-2 record against those three opponents.
The nail in the coffin came when Yanni Gourde took a high-sticking penalty while in the offensive zone during one of the few times Tampa Bay actually had some semblance of possession in the offensive zone. Boston's first two goals were due to poor defensive positioning by the Lightning, while the Bruins' third goal was a display of ideal passing on the power play. Boston has won three of four games against Tampa Bay this season, but the Lightning won the most recent matchup by a score of 6-3 on March 23. An overtime or shootout win won't seal the deal.
Like the Lightning, the Senators - who are in the midst of a five-game losing skid - are also battling the injury bug at the worst possible time.
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Boston has already clinched a playoff spot, but the loss of its leading scorer comes at an inopportune time.
A regulation victory also serves a objective beyond chasing down Boston. However, the Maple Leafs have a much tougher road than the Senators.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy (who improved to a remarkable 18-7-0 since taking over) termed it an "undisciplined play" but neither he nor Marchand's teammates would fully throw him under the bus for this incredibly stupid play. After Tuesday's clash with the Lightning, the Bruins will take on Ottawa.
But even if that is the case and seemingly everything falls into place, the math still proves tricky for the Lightning.